If you have been into off-roading for some time, there’s a chance that you might have heard about Moab’s legendary trails. But if you’re just starting, you can still read this guide because you’ll surely get better eventually!
So, why is this trail very famous? The Poison Spider Mesa a trail that measures around 13.5 miles that is a very heavily trafficked loop located near Moab, Utah. It’s rated as severe, and you can explore other trails nearby after driving through it. There’s also a lot of very challenging obstacles and incredible views, especially the scenic Little Arch off the cliff’s edge that overlooks the town of Moab.
Let’s cut the chase! Here are all of the things you need to know about Poison Spider Mesa…
If you are from Salt Lake City, you can follow this route:
- Head west on 400 S/University Blvd towards Main St
- Turn left at the 1st intersection onto W Temple
- After 0.2 mi, turn right onto 500 S/Cesar E. Chavez Blvd
- Take the I-80 E/I-80 W slip road on the left to Cheyenne/Reno/SL International Airport/Las Vegas
- Keep left at the following fork and follow the signs leading to I-15 S/I-80 E/Cheyenne/Las Vegas and merge onto I-15 S/I-80 E
- After 2.5 mi, keep left to continue on I-15 S
- Use the right two lanes and take the exit to 257 B-A for US 6 E towards Price
- Continue onto the same road (US-6 E)
- After 127 mi, merge onto I-70 E/US-6 E
- Take the exit 182 leading to US-191 S that will lead you to Crescent Jct/Moab
- After 0.3 mi, turn right onto US-191 S
- Turn right onto UT-279 S after 27.3 miles
- After 5.9 mi, turn right onto Poison Spider Safari Rte
What Should I Know About Poison Spider Mesa?
Poison Spider Mesa is a very famous trail. It is one of the “Must-Do” drives of Moab in Utah, USA. The trail is approximately 9.6 miles long, accessible throughout the year. If you’re a person with a fear of heights, you should think twice before attempting this.
The drive is worth it, and there are many excellent photo opportunities here. Don’t forget your camera! Amazing views, a variety of landscape, magnificent views of the desert, wildlife, challenging obstacles, and plenty of thrill if you are driving a 4WD vehicle with high clearance, and a fun, difficult trail! This trail has just about everything, and it’s a fun-filled combination of challenging obstacles and incredible scenery. So, don’t miss impressive Little Arch close the edge of the cliff overlooking Moab. Mountain biking is very popular on this trail. But you should remember to drive carefully and be courteous to other visitors at all times. It is also open throughout the year if the weather permits. Lastly, the best time to go is during spring and fall.
This trail passes through isolated areas, so you should be prepared. Off-roading is a fundamentally dangerous activity and shouldn’t be tried without the right equipment and training. Aside from that, there are also huge, awkward ledges and many spots where your car can tip. For modified vehicles with extremely high ground clearance, lockers, large tires, and excellent articulation are needed.
Route-finding on the loop portion of the trail is also very difficult. The route passes through the mesa’s highest point just north of the Colorado River and on the western side of the Moab Valley, where it reaches a good lookout point of the neighboring river and valley. If you travel on this road, you must be experienced and wholly devoted to safe, steady, and obstacle-conscious driving to prevent yourself from encountering problems. The trail up until you reach the mesa is a series of slickrock ascents mixed with parts of the road.
How Are the Off-road Trails at Poison Spider Mesa?
The trail is made up of slick rock, sand, and dirt, with plenty of waterfalls and hill climbs. Even though most obstacles have a bypass, there are still several obstacles that you have to run. Expect 6 ft+ waterfalls, steeper than 50-degree inclines, and plenty of drops that you drag off. It is recommended that you have a lift and lockers before trying this trail.
The starting point was located west of town close to the Colorado River. From here, you will travel about 6 miles south on Potash Road, where you’d find a parking lot that can accommodate trailers as well as a restroom.
You can start the rocky ascent up the switchbacks from the parking area. The trail has a short, smooth part before you reach the “Tie-Rod Flats,” which can only be described as unorganized mountain speed bumps. Next was the “Waterfall,” which is very difficult for most vehicles. Quickly after passing by this area, you will encounter the “V-Notch,” and with a careful tire placement, looked much worse than it was. A few ledges later, then the trail will have another short, relatively smooth section, which can make you catch your breath. The 5-mile part of Poison Spider Mesa shares is connected to the famous Golden Spike. We turned right following the letters “PS” marked on the ground.
Most people go counter-clockwise direction around the loop, but you can go clockwise if you want to have a slightly more relaxed drive. The path would then go around rock outcrops on some enjoyable terrain. You can also take a short break and take a few extra minutes to enjoy spinning your wheels in the sandhills. If that’s not your thing, you can head out to the scenic overlook and have lunch. From here, you should continue driving south on more scenic terrain over very challenging, steep rocks and around a big pothole. Before going back to the parking lot, you can take a side trip to see one last attraction called the Little Arch. Poison Spider Mesa will surely be one of your favorites because it’s packed with technical challenges, some fun driving with many great sites along the way.
What Are the Other Things That I Can Do at Poison Spider Mesa?
The long drive to Moab is worth it as there is a lot of things that you can do around Poison Spider Mesa, aside from driving. You can explore:
- Arches National Park
- Hell’s Revenge
- Canyonlands National Park
- Dead Horse Point State Park
- Corona Arch
- Potash Road
- Castle Valley
- Balanced Rock Trail
- Wilson’s Arch
What Do Other Off-road Enthusiasts Say About Poison Spider Mesa?
“Only ran the trail until the waypoint 18 because I took Golden Spike to go to Where Eagles Dare. The clubs in the area had recently done a lot of work barricading illegal routes and repairing fallen fences. Great job, guys!
The trail is a fun one with random obstacles and some fast-moving sections along the way. For any rig on 37s+, there are not as many challenging obstacles as there would be if you are on smaller tires. Still a fun trip, but if you are on 37s or 40s, don’t expect this to be a trail full of challenges. Longer wheelbase vehicles will also find this trail easier than short wheelbase.” -Ryan Boudreau (Trails Offroad)
Where Should I Stay at Poison Spider Mesa?
There is no remote camping in the immediate area.
Remember, when you’re staying free designated sites, you are required to remove all solid human waste from the area. Campers are required to bring, set up, and use portable toilets. Campers may not bury, or leave, solid waste, and soiled toilet paper.
Also, the disposal of solid waste on public land is required. You should camp only in marked campsites, and no woodcutting is allowed. Following these simple rules will guarantee that the sites are attractive to future campers. Enjoy your stay! The Moab Field Office maintains 26 campgrounds. Many of the campsites are located close to Arches National Park along the Colorado River. These campgrounds offer scenic views of the red rock cliffs amidst a green ribbon of vegetation.
What Is A Poison Spider?
There are only two spiders; both are rarely found in Iowa, which has venom capable of causing illness in humans. The black widow spider venom has a neurotoxin that can cause headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, and other systemic symptoms. Death is infrequent. The brown recluse spider bite is usually not painful.
How Long Is Hells Revenge?
Rated a six by the Red-Rock Four-Wheelers, the Hell’s Revenge trail is approximately 6.5 miles in length. Due to hazardous terrain, it is recommended only for experienced drivers.
Why Is Moab Called Moab?
The name Moab is derived from Biblical name for land just short of the Promised Land. The Moabites were historically known as the perpetual enemy of the Israelites, “God’s Chosen People.” Because of those similarities, the little town was dubbed Moab by Mormon settlers in the 1800s.
What Is the Best Time of Year to Go to Moab?
Peak tourist season is from March to May and September to October, still busy in the summer but not as crazy as spring and fall. The summer has thinner crowds a bit because temperatures can hit an average of 105 degrees. If you’re flexible with your vacation and dates, the best time to visit Moab would be early spring or late fall.